American Speedfest 2022

2022 would be my second visit to Brands Hatch’s festival of all things American. If you’d like, you can read about last years event here:

Although last year’s event was absolutely huge, this year’s felt even bigger! As per the last event there was a massive show and shine area, plenty of on track action from the Euro Series NASCARs, Legend cars, Silhouette racers and Outlaws, a big funfair and a monster truck giving ride-alongs.

This year there was also a separate monster truck demonstration which shared an arena with the Formula G gymkhana series, however the event was so packed I actually couldn’t get any photos or videos of it.

This event was by far the busiest I’ve ever seen Brands Hatch, so I know I’m going to miss things and people’s cars in this write-up, and for that I do apologise. It’s really nice to see a motorsport venue pulling such a huge crowd though. After the past couple of years I’m sure our tracks could do with the support and it’s great to see people coming out.

Before we start I must apologise for some of the focusing in the images below. I’d somehow messed up my camera’s settings. Now I’m home, of course, I was able to sort it and it now takes pics absolutely fine. It was an issue that was bugging me for most of the day.

With that being said, I think we’ll follow last year’s itinerary and we’ll start with the Ford Mustang, America’s first “pony car” that saw plenty of representation at the show from throughout the ages.

It was nice to see quite a collection of cars on Ford’s Panther platform. My U.S based friends will tell you that I really want a Crown Victoria black and white police car to cruise about in. If I were to buy a holiday home in the States, one of these would 110% be my daily driver.

There was a nice selection of Ford trucks too!

From General Motors we of course had a selection of Chevrolet Corvettes. I didn’t see any C8s which surprised me. I’ve only seen two in person so far!

There were a few Camaros too. Of particular note was this convertible pace car.

4th generation Camaros are still a pretty affordable way to get into American cars. The later Z28 came with a LS1 engine which is a good starting point for a bit of a drag project.

The Pontiac TransAm is the slightly more upmarket sister to the Camaro. I’m rather fond of the 1980s ones.

In the Chrysler Corporation/ Mopar camp, there was this absolutely stunning wide bodied Challenger.

There were also a few SRT Hellcats. These things make over 700bhp and are the automotive equivalent of a sledge hammer. I absolutely love them!

The ACR Viper is the more track focused version of Dodge’s V10 sports car.

The classic Charger and Challenger were of course represented at the show.

This older Dodge Ram also caught my eye. There’s an actual ram’s head as a bonnet mascot/hood ornament which I thought was a cool touch.

The best car of the show in my opinion was this old drop tank racer.

Aircraft in WW2 (they are also still used today) had these additional long range fuel tanks that hung off the bottom of them called drop tanks.

When the war finished there were thousands of these things left over. People would build cars out of them and run them at salt lakes like Bonneville and El Mirage.

There was plenty of on track action too. The Legends Cars Championship was a highlight for me last year and this year’s racing was absolutely fantastic too!

I absolutely love these little cars. They’re 5/8 scale replicas of American cars from the 1930s and 1940s powered by an aircooled four cylinder motorbike engine.

The grid for these was absolutely packed. Being a “spec” championship it meant that the racing was really close and as the cars are so small, a lot of cars were able to fit into some tight areas on the track.

My apologies for the focus on some of the track images by the way. I messed up my camera’s settings somehow. Of course, now the event is over, I’ve been able to fix it and it’s working perfectly again.

There were a couple of classes of silhouette races. They incorporated both trucks and coupes. They’re very reminiscent of National Hot Rods that are raced on oval tracks.

Shoutout to Upminster Panelcraft in Basildon! They’re very local to where I live.

The NASCAR Whelen Euro Series was of course the headline feature. It’s a pleasure to see and hear these things thunder around Druids. Daytona or Talledega are on my hit-list of events in the U.S I’d like to go to. I’d imagine seeing 40 odd of these flying past at 200+mph is quite an experience!

It was also nice to be able to get close to some retired U.S NASCARs in the display area.

American Speedfest was a fantastic day out! It’s really nice to see the track pulling in such a big crowd. Apologies again for some of the off focus photos and I know I’ve missed a fair bit from the show. There was just so much to pack into one blog post! I hope you enjoyed the read anyway.

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By Richard Francis

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